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Postal Service: NAICS 491

About the Postal Service subsector

The postal service subsector is part of the transportation and warehousing sector.

The Postal Service subsector includes the activities of the National Post Office and its subcontractors operating under a universal service obligation to provide mail services, and using the infrastructure required to fulfill that obligation. These services include delivering letters and small parcels. These articles can be described as those that can be handled by one person without using special equipment. This allows the collection, pick-up, and delivery operations to be done with limited labor costs and minimal equipment. Sorting and transportation activities, where necessary, are generally mechanized. The restriction to small parcels distinguishes these establishments from those in the transportation industries. These establishments may also provide express delivery services using the infrastructure established for provision of basic mail services.

North American Industry Classification System

The postal service subsector consists of a single industry group, Postal Service: NAICS 4911.

Workforce Statistics

This section provides information relating to employment in postal service. These data are obtained from employer or establishment surveys. The following tables present an overview of the industry , data for occupations common to the industry, and projections of occupational employment change.

Employment by Occupation

Data series Employment,
2021

First-line supervisors/managers of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators

3,860

Postal service clerks

79,320

Postal service mail carriers

335,540

Postal service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators

111,680

Postmasters and mail superintendents

12,750

(Source: Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics)

Earnings

Recent hourly and annual earnings for occupations commonly found in postal service.

Earnings by Occupation

Data series Wages, 2021
Hourly Annual
Median Mean Median Mean

First-line supervisors/managers of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators

33.66 35.48 70,010 73,790

Postal service clerks

25.14 25.58 52,290 53,210

Postal service mail carriers

25.21 26.14 52,440 54,370

Postal service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators

23.34 24.53 48,550 51,030

Postmasters and mail superintendents

38.58 39.34 80,250 81,820

(Source: Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics)

Work-related Fatalities

This section presents data for the industry on the number of workplace fatalities in postal service.

Data series 2016 2017 2018 2019

Fatalities

Number of fatalities

14 21 17 21

Blank cells indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria.

(Source: Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities)

Prices

This section provides industry-specific pricing information. The producer price index measures the percentage change in prices that domestic producers receive for goods and services. The prices included in the producer price index are from the first commercial transaction.

Data series Back
data
Jan.
2022
Feb.
2022
Mar.
2022
Apr.
2022

Producer price index

(p)255.602 (p)255.602 (p)255.602 (p)255.602

Percent change from previous month

  (p)-0.9% (p)0.0% (p)0.0% (p)0.0%

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Producer Price Indexes)

Workplace Trends

This section presents data on the number of establishments in postal service. Also included in this section is information on productivity, presented as the rate of change in output per hour of workers in the industry.

Establishments

Data series Back
data
4th quarter
2020
1st quarter
2021
2nd quarter
2021
3rd quarter
2021

Number of establishments

Federal government

29,277 (p)29,286 (p)29,298 (p)29,254

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages)

Productivity

Data series Back
data
2018 2019 2020 2021

Labor productivity index, output per hour

91.766 89.235 90.127  

Percent change from previous year

-1.9 -2.8 1.0  

Labor index, total labor hours

104.232 104.551 104.651 106.116

Percent change from previous year

0.5 0.3 0.1 1.4

Output index

95.649 93.296 94.319  

Percent change from previous year

-1.4 -2.5 1.1  

Unit labor costs index

103.827 115.656 116.302  

Percent change from previous year

5.5 11.4 0.6  

(Source: Productivity and Costs)

 

Data extracted on: May 20, 2022